Diabetic ketosis and ketoacidosis in cats: 42 cases (1980- 1995)

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73 Scopus citations


Objective - To determine clinical signs, clinicopathologic abnormalities, prevalence of concurrent disease, treatment, complications of treatment, and outcome in cats with diagnosis ketosis (DK) or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Design - Retrospective study. Animals - 42 cats with DK or DKA. Procedure - Medical records of diabetic cats with ketonuria were reviewed. Results - In 26 cats, diabetes was newly diagnosed; in 16, diabetes had been diagnosed previously and cats had been treated with insulin (n = 14) or sulfonylurea drugs (2). Common clinical findings were lethargy, anorexia, polyuria, polydipsia, and weight loss. Common laboratory findings were hyperglycemia, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, low total CO2 content, hyperosmolality, high serum alanine transaminase activity, azotemia, glycosuria, and ketonuria. Concurrent disorders were identified in 39 cats and included hepatic lipidosis, cholangiohepatitis, pancreatitis, chronic renal failure, urinary tract infection, and neoplasia. Treatment of DK and DKA included administration of regular crystalline (34 cats), NPH (6), or ultralente (2) insulin, intravenous (38) or subcutaneous (4) administration of fluids, and enterall parenteral or administration of antibiotics (42). Complications during treatment included abnormalities in serum electrolyte concentrations (27 cats), hemolytic anemia (4), hypoglycemia (3), and neurologic abnormalities unrelated to hypoglycemia (2). Eleven cats died or were euthanatized during the initial hospitalization period for treatment of DK or DKA. Azotemia, metabolic acidosis, and hyperosmolality were more severe in cats that died than in cats that survived. Differences in regard to treatment or complications were not apparent between cats that died and cats that survived. The 31 cats that survived were discharged 1 to 16 days (median, 5 days) after initiation of insulin treatment. Diabetic ketosis or ketoacidosis recurred in 13 (42%) of these cats. Clinical Implications - A thorough diagnostic evaluation should be performed on cats with DK or DKA to identify concurrent disorders, formulate an appropriate treatment plan, and provide prognostic information to the owner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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